Two unsolved murders three years later

By Tom Corrigan - [email protected]

In early January 2016, Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said he would update the Daily Times with information as it became available. He said a possible motive might become apparent from the work of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification.

Donini was referring to the Jan. 4, 2016 shooting deaths of Candice Newsome, 48, and her daughter, Kristina Mykal Newsome, 16. Over three years later, Sheriff’s Capt. John W Murphy said the case is still very much ongoing.

“We have talked with numerous people,” Murphy said. “It still is a very active investigation.”

The Newsomes were found in a trailer at 4098 Blue Run Rd., Minford.

On Monday, a short distance away, the sheriff’s office began investigating the suspicious death of a Lucasville man found shot in the head inside his trailer at 3125 Blue Run. In the case of Darren H. Woods, 46, officials first received a call reporting Woods’ apparent suicide. However, investigators could find no weapon at the scene.

“At this time the investigation continues into the death, but the preliminary investigation suggests that this is a homicide,” Murphy stated Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, he confirmed officials are treating the death as a homicide.

While speaking about the Newsome deaths Tuesday, Murphy did not offer any update on the Woods case, only saying his office is continuing its investigation. Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman also declined comment on the incident.

The sheriff’s office plans to send Woods’ body was to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy. Officials encouraged anyone with information regarding the death contact Detective Kirk Jackson at (740) 351-1093. Murphy stated any calls will remain confidential.

Some local media reports state the Newsome’s address was in Lucasville. However, in 2016, the Daily Times reported the murders took place in Minford. More importantly, the Facebook page of Ralph C. Johnson, Candice Newsome’s father, states repeatedly the murders occurred in Minford. In any case, although there is no reason at present to think they are in any way related, the murders took place in a very rural area just barely over a mile apart according to a Google search.

Johnson did not respond to a Facebook message requesting comment for this story. Over the years since the murders, his family was at one time, and still may be, offering a reward of $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the deaths.

Back in 2016, Donini said his office received a 911 call at 8:33 a.m., Jan. 24, from a family member who visited the mobile home after an unidentified man came upon the scene. That man went to the family member’s home, and the member of the family went to the Newsome’s trailer.

“They assumed that they had been murdered,” Donini said. “A preliminary investigation indicates that each one of those victims was probably shot. We can’t verify that yet, but we are in the process of doing that now.”

The Times wrote BCI&I was at the scene gathering evidence and the Scioto County sheriff’s office was also out in full force.

Donini said it appeared the teenage girl attempted to flee the scene. He also stated officials found the mother in her bed. He added on the advice of then county prosecutor Mark Kuhn, the sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for the Newsome’s home.

“We just want to make sure all of our bases are covered,” Donini said at the time. “Therefore, we left the residence, went and got the search warrant and we came back with the search warrant.”

At the time, authorities speculated only the mother and daughter lived in the trailer. The father and husband apparently did not live at the same residence.

For his part, Murphy seemed very familiar with the case, talking about it off the top of his head. Asked if officials ever uncovered a motive in the murders, Murphy said he could not speak about that as the investigation continues.

“Unfortunately, these types of cases do take some time,” Murphy said. “They are not easily or quickly resolved as much as members of law enforcement would like them to be.”

By Tom Corrigan

[email protected]

Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370- 0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

Reach Tom Corrigan at (740) 370- 0715. © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.